PITTSBURGH — Left-hander Jeff Locke picked up his second straight win when the Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-4 at Arizona on Wednesday night.
Locke, a 2007 graduate of Kennett High, threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and two homers for his first career victory against the Diamondbacks. He walked one and struck out one.
"In my eyes, it's not a very good performance by me," Locke said. "Mistakes were made, mistakes that we're not supposed to make in those situations, but the offense hung tight all night. We battled back."
But he kept the game close enough for the lineup to stage a four-run rally in the fifth. John Jaso and Andrew McCutchen singled, Gregory Polanco lined an RBI double to right field and Starling Marte pulled the Bucs within one on a run-scoring groundout. Up came David Freese, who crushed the go-ahead shot into the Pittsburgh bullpen at 451 feet,
"It's a matter of 'when' with those guys," Locke said. "They're playing really well right now. We just want to keep it rolling as long as we can."
This was Locke's 100th career start and the 51st at PNC Park, where he owns a 16-13 record and the Pirates have gone 31-20 behind him.
Prior to taming the Diamondbacks, Locke threw seven strong innings, Polanco led another complete performance by the Pirates' lineup and the Bucs beat the Braves, 8-2, on May 19 to clinch a victory in their four-game series at PNC Park.
Forty-five games into the season, the Pirates are 26-19. It's the third time since 1993 that Pittsburgh reached the quarter pole with a winning record, having last done so in 2013 (23-17) and 1997 (21-19).
Locke bounced back from a rough start against the Cubs and worked seven full innings for the second time in his last four starts, holding the Braves to two runs on six hits while striking out six. Unlike Wednesday night, Pittsburgh's bats backed up their starter, pounding out eight runs on 11 hits — including three from leadoff man Jaso and Jordy Mercer and two from Polanco.
"That's the part that feels good, able to eat up some innings for the guys," Locke said. "(Catcher Chris Stewart) and I were on the same page the whole time. ... Had a good idea what we wanted to do, and he's smart back there."
— Courtesy Pittsburgh Pirates
- Category: Personalities